Robin-Joël Cool has never had the feeling to go this far on a movie music project. The soundtrack to Rafaël Ouellet’s Arsenault et fils, which he signed with his life partner, Viviane Audet, and Alexis Martin, explores the different sides
podorythmy and ukulele by allowing large formats.
Actor, musician, singer and composer, Robin-Joël Cool has had no time to get bored in recent months. In addition to playing in the movie Arsenault et fils for which he created the soundtrack (along with two of his assistants), he is also preparing to release a second album with the group Mentana.
Over the past ten years, the trio has composed several music tracks for films and TV series, including the drama Le monde de Gabrielle Roy, Les rois mongols, Conséquences and most recently the documentary Léopold Foulem by Renée Blanchar.
Over the years, the trio developed a true friendship and artistic family with director Rafael Ole, a native of Digli in Timiscoata. The Akkadian artist specifies that the director is a great lover of music and allows a lot of space for music in his productions. The trio will also compose the soundtrack for their next TV series Double Fault which takes place in the tennis field. This will be filmed over the next few months.
Robin-Joël Cool emphasizes that the director wanted his film to stand out and be ambitious and for the music to have a special signature.
Arsenault et fils tells the story of a group of fishermen in Tmiscoata on the borders of Quebec, New Brunswick and Maine. The cast includes actors from Quebec (Michelin Lanctôt, Julian Pauline, Karen Vanas), Maine and New Brunswick, including Coco Bellevue and an appearance by Joseph Edgar. Robin-Joël Cool, who plays the main character’s friend, asserts that this business is as much about family as it is about hunting.
“His first film Camion was also a sibling story. Here are the same themes a bit, but it’s been completely rethought in another approach, but it’s still siblings. It’s still his hometown because most of his movies were shot in Deglis.”
To create the soundtrack, they drew inspiration from the land, the beauty of the relationship with nature, and even a little myth. They worked with Tommy Gautier, percussionist and violinist.
“I was starting to see all the possibilities of foot rhythm and was looking for a way to speed up the film, but in an original way that really belongs to Quebec and Acadia…”
Harp, brass quintet, percussion, fake sounds, keyboards, guitars, piano, organ are added. The music was recorded at several locations, including the famous Piccolo studio and a chapel. They are literally reinventing local music. The opening theme refers to their Americana influences and after that the music moves a bit elsewhere. Lovers of melodies, try to make it not only rhythmic, by developing great themes as well. We can recognize their signature.
It took this film project ten years to get funding and see the light of day. The Akkadian artist has been in the process since the beginning. He even collaborated on writing certain versions of the screenplay with Raphael Ollet.
“We were really fortunate that we went so far in proposing this movie. We went a long way in coordinating a Quebec movie. We paid the bill.”
Nine pieces, including a new version of V’la l’bon vent, performed by Viviane Audet and Adèle Trottier-Rivard, make up this composition. The album is a work in itself, as the pieces are grouped into large groups of subjects and do not necessarily follow the film’s chronology, as the musician states.
“We wanted this album to live side by side and make it as accessible and pleasant to listen to as possible. I listen to a lot of tracks to write.
The soundtrack will appear as a digital album on June 17, at the same time as the film hit screens.
New chapter for Montana
The Mentana group is beginning a new chapter with the release of their first single, Rise from the wreck, the main track for their second disc, which is scheduled to be released on August 26. Longtime partner of the popular independent Montreal band, Eric West Millett, joins the band that also includes Yannick Barnett, Vivienne Audette and Robin Joel Cole. The musician with an impressive track record has played with some of the biggest names in music, including Neil Young, Zachary Richard, and Mary Jo Tyrio. The latter, who has a wealth of experience in film music, collaborated with Robin-Joël Cool and Viviane Audet on the soundtrack for Rafaël Ouellet’s Camion, which won the Jutra Award. In popular style, rising from the wreck is an ode to the unexpected strength one can have when hardships arise.
“The theme for me has something post-pandemic about getting yourself up after a shipwreck. The simplicity of the script and the music represent where we come from.”
This first song announces a little about the colors of the new album, as Robin Joël Cool appreciates. Since they are all film musicians, they have allowed themselves the orchestral trips a little more and more ambitious, without neglecting the folk.
“Suddenly, Mentana had a new signature, a new freedom we gave ourselves. The next pieces will be so much more with more epic arrangements.
The group will also be one of the home orchestras for the upcoming season of the variety show L’embarrass du Choix on Radio Canada.
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